In the week of 22-31st August 2014, the cooperative NYEREKA IBIGANZA BYAWE (show me your hand) participated in the TVET Exhibition co-organized by IPRC South and Private sector federation in Huye District. The exhibition was attended by 80 private companies and 45 TVET Schools. The exhibition aimed at promoting collaboration with private companies oriented in TVET ; Raising TVET awareness to the local community ; making Southern province TVET providers known and advertising activities and services offered by IPRC-South and IPRC-S/PSF-South Committee. NYEREKA IBIGANZA BYAWE Cooperative and was awarded as one of three best exhibitors in crafts works.

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NYEREKA IBIGANZA BYAWE Cooperative exhibition

NYEREKA IBIGANZA BYAWE cooperative is one of groups that are mentored by UPHLS and it was founded by 20 young people with hearing impairment on 18th September 2012. The cooeprative was finally registerd by Rwanda Cooperative Agency (RCA) in 2013. It is located in Ngoma, one of Huye District sectors. It is one of disabled group in Huye which is very active, enthusiastic, creative and innovative. They are engaged in craft works like weaving, tailoring and knitting and they produce high quality products. They also do metal work like producing cooking stoves and metal suitcases and so forth.

Most of the members graduated from Ngoma Special Centre for Youth with hearing impairments. After graduating they faced challenge to get employed due to their disabilities so they decided to start the cooperative to become self reliant. Nyereka Ibiganza Byawe cooperative supplies some schools in the area with school uniforms, sweaters, etc. They also produce banners, restaurants uniforms, and other clothing depending on clients’ orders. At the same time, they also train young persons with hearing impairments in crafts works.

“We are very happy to participate in the exhibition. We met many people both clients and fellow crafters. We learnt from other exhibitors and we expect to expand our market because many customers have shown interest in our products.” Karangwa Felix, the president of cooperative confessed to our district officer Olivier Ndagijimana.

NYEREKA IBIGANZA BYAWE is the only one cooperative of Persons with disabilities which participated in the exhibition and it was awarded. We expect to send many more cooperatives in the future through EmployAble project.